Turkey starts building first nuclear power plant

Turkey has officially launched the construction of its first nuclear power plant. The Russian-designed Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant in Mersin on the Mediterranean coast is the first of three nuclear […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Turkey has officially launched the construction of its first nuclear power plant.

The Russian-designed Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant in Mersin on the Mediterranean coast is the first of three nuclear plants the country plans to build.

Turkey hopes the $22 billion (£14.3bn) project will boost its economy and reduce its dependence on fossil fuel imports.

Construction on the first 1,200MW reactor has begun.

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız was reported as saying: “[Economic] development cannot take place in a country without nuclear energy. If the Akkuyu plant had been built a decade ago, Turkey would have saved $14 billion (£9bn) in natural gas purchases and nuclear power would today cover 28% of the country’s electricity demand.”

The project is expected to create around 10,000 jobs and be completed by the end of the decade.